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Dialogic OD and beyond: Towards New Forms of Organisational Change - Cliff Oswick

Dialogic OD and beyond: Towards New Forms of Organisational Change - Cliff Oswick

Lunchtime Talk: Prof Cliff Oswick, 1 February

The field of Organisation Development (OD) is clearly evolved and developed over the years. The proposed talk will consider the changing nature of OD and distinguish between: traditional OD (i.e. diagnostic approaches); contemporary OD (i.e. dialogic approaches); and, emerging OD (i.e. post-dialogic approaches). It is posited that the very latest strands of OD activity are radically different to earlier incarnations in terms of style, focus and content. They are less structured and hierarchical and more ‘networked’ and ‘bottom-up’ in orientation. Moreover, and unlike diagnostic OD (which focuses on a ‘punctuated past’) or dialogic OD (which focuses on a relatively ‘predictable future’), emerging forms of OD tend to ‘unfold-in-the-present’. And, as such, they are far more dynamic in nature (i.e. emerging via spontaneous, unpredictable and improvised forms of talk and action that develop in real-time). The session will conclude with a discussion of the implications for management, organisations and society-as-a-whole, of a wave of radically different forms of OD intervention.

Tavistock Institute

March 06, 2017
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  1. www.cass.city.ac.uk Dialogic OD and Beyond: Towards New Forms of Organizational

    Change
  2. www.cass.city.ac.uk Influences on Change Approaches (based on Marshak, 2010) Change

    Source Mechanical Sciences (1900s to Present) Biological Sciences (1960s to Present) Interpretive Sciences (1980s to Present) Complexity Sciences (1990s to Present) Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems Intervention Focus Efficiency, plans, structure, IT, productivity Alignment, congruence, strategic plans Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self- organization, emergent design Change Emphasis Fix & Re- engineer Adapt & Re- position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation
  3. www.cass.city.ac.uk Old (Diagnostic) OD Approaches Change Source Mechanical Sciences (1900s

    to Present) Biological Sciences (1960s to Present) Interpretive Sciences (1980s to Present) Complexity Sciences (1990s to Present) Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems Intervention Focus Efficiency, plans, structure, IT, productivity Alignment, congruence, strategic plans Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self- organization, emergent design Change Emphasis Fix & Re- engineer Adapt & Re- position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation
  4. www.cass.city.ac.uk New (Dialogic) OD Approaches Change Source Mechanical Sciences (1900s

    to Present) Biological Sciences (1960s to Present) Interpretive Sciences (1980s to Present) Complexity Sciences (1990s to Present) Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems Intervention Focus Efficiency, plans, structure, IT, productivity Alignment, congruence, strategic plans Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self- organization, emergent design Change Emphasis Fix & Re- engineer Adapt & Re- position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation
  5. www.cass.city.ac.uk Even Newer (Dispersed) OD Approaches Change Source Mechanical Sciences

    (1900s to Present) Biological Sciences (1960s to Present) Interpretive Sciences (1980s to Present) Complexity Sciences (1990s to Present) Perspective of Organizations Determinate, closed systems Contingent, open systems Generative, meaning making systems Complex adaptive systems Intervention Focus Efficiency, plans, structure, IT, productivity Alignment, congruence, strategic plans Discourse, meaning making, culture, norms Chaos, self- organization, emergent design Change Emphasis Fix & Re- engineer Adapt & Re- position Reframe & Rename Flux & Emergent Facilitation
  6. Traditional OD Contemporary OD Emerging OD General Approach to Change

    Change as a scientific process Change as a discursive process Change as a political process Disciplinary Area & Epistemology Socio-psychological - positivist Socio-linguistic – constructivist Socio-political - critical realist Focus of Change Negative - Emphasis on problems Positive - Emphasis on improvement Neutral - Emphasis on possibilities Process Characteristics Reactive, linear and punctuated Proactive, recursive and fluid Emergent, rhizomatic and spontaneous Temporal Orientation Focus on the past to act in the present Focus on the future to act in the present Focus on the present to act in the present Environmental Imperatives Relatively stable and predictable world Competitive and rapidly changing world Turbulent and socially connected world Hierarchical Ordering Top-down (mgt instigate & execute) Top-down & sideways (mgt/emp execution) Bottom-up (emp instigated) Employee Focus Employee performance and job enrichment Employee involvement and empowerment Employee engagement and emancipation Change Logic Change of/for employees Change with employees Change by employees Examples Job Design, Teamwork, & Structural Intervention AI, Future Search, & World Cafe Employee Activism & Constructive Deviance
  7. ▪ Generational shifts ▪ Digital Transformation and Connectedness Why Now?

  8. www.cass.city.ac.uk Managing Millennials and Generation Z Andrew Davidson observes: “For

    traditional employers, Millennials pose new problems. Command-and-control is out. Having grown up with constant feedback from parents and teachers, they want dialogue, not orders, and a world of work that offers more opportunity and less hierarchy, and always new ways of doing things.” Davidson, A. (2014) “How millennial are you?”, Business Life, May, pp.18-21.
  9. So, what can we do? ▪ Open Space Technology ▪ Appreciative Inquiry

    ▪ World Café ▪ Future Search ▪ Corporate Hackathons ▪ Collaboration Platforms ▪ Hotspot Engagement ▪ Internal Crowdsourcing ▪ Employee Activism ▪ Reciprocity Rings ▪ Continuous & Fluid Dialogic Activity
  10. And, where’s the evidence? ▪ “Towards Ritualised Autonomy” – Atlassian ▪ “Beyond

    360 Feedback and Appraisals” - BetterWorks ▪ “The Creation of Flatland” – Valve ▪ “Doing Holacracy” – Zappos ▪ “Arrivals Hacking” – British Airways ▪ “Blurred Crowdsourcing” – Agora ▪ “Reciprocity Rings” – Headhunters Inc. ▪ “New Horizon Radicals” – NHS
  11. BetterWorks Transparent and interwoven goals: ▪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxODhdOTneE

  12. NHS Example “The Horizons Group is a small team operating

    at the edge of current thinking and practice of change and transformation in health and care. Its remit is about sharing the disruptive power of connecting to influence change, leading edge knowledge, transformation and innovation. The aim is to support colleagues in health and care to think differently about the ‘rules of change’ and make sense of it in their own context, leading to effective change practice and better outcomes for patients” (Bevan & Fairman, 2014:36).
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  14. Innovation, Management and Change Dominant Approach Emerging Direction Power through

    hierarchy Power through connection Mission and vision Shared purpose Making sense through Making sense through rationale argument emotional connection Leadership-driven (top Viral (grass-roots down) innovation driven) creativity Tried and tested, based ‘Open’ approaches, sharing ideas on experience and data, co-creating change Transactions Relationships
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  17. The Toyota Experience “Globally known for their systematic processes, Toyota

    might be the last company where you'd expect to find autonomy at play among factory workers. Instead, Toyota's leaders created a system that gives frontline workers the autonomy to solve problems, design their own tools, and create or revise processes. Supervisors are there to provide support, not answers” (Ludema, 2016). “Toyota is a lot like jazz musicians: the players are taught to improvise. A framework is provided, but the sheet music is not” (Barratt, 2015). Barratt (2015) suggests: “Creating a company where improvisation can happen is not easy. It requires a unique tool set that includes capacity for experimentation, rapid information processing, disrupting routines, and maximizing autonomy”.
  18. Thank You